There’s a lot of pissed off students at UCLA these days. Before Tuesday night, a lot of those students were raising a ruckus about the the extremely low numbers of African American students in the freshmen class (103 out of over 4,800 freshmen) due in large part to the changes brought on by Proposition 209 approved by California voters 10 years ago. Now they’re pissed off about the incident of police brutality Tuesday night in which a Muslim student was Tasered by UCPD (see 5000!’s post below).
At the UC Regents meeting, students, alumni and community members voiced their concerns about the low numbers of black students at UCLA and called for more action on the part of the Regents and university leadership to address the lack of diversity.
I spoke to the Regents too and asked them to do as they did when Prop 209 first took effect and “the numbers” for black, Chicana/o and Latina/o and Native American students fell drastically. Although they couldn’t use race in admission, they renewd their commitment by greatly increasing funding for academic preparation programs which would help prepare more underrepresented minority, first generation and low income students for college. Unfortunately, that commitment on behalf of the Regents and Legislature has decreased in the last few years of budget cuts.
Although some of the Regents spoke out forcefully in favor of increasing funding for academic preparation from the 12 million from the Regents to 33 million (the state supplies an additional 19, for a total of 31 million), the $3.3 billion budget was passed as is.
The Regents had a chance to show greater commitment to diversity and passed it up. I guess they don’t mind pissing off students.
Photo by Daily Bruin photographer Michael Chen.